Translational research in education for knowledge mobilisation: a study of use and teacher perception in primary schools in England, UK
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In order to achieve the standard expected in the classroom, teachers benefit from continuing professional development that enables access to resources with which to inform their practice. Smith and Helfenbein's “Translational Research in Education: Collaboration and Commitment in Urban Contexts.” In The Collaborative Turn: Working Together in Qualitative Research (2009), edited by W. S. Gershon. Rotterdam: Sense, identified that translational research ‘creates a space for collaborative, co-constructed inquiry that values and utilises the expertise of all stakeholders involved’ (page 91). This paper presents an overview and investigation of a founding model, MESH (Mapping Education Specialist knowHow guides, www.meshguides.org), for translational educational research and knowledge mobilisation in schools and colleges. MESH guides aim to support improved evidence-based and research-informed teaching practice, to in turn improve professional practice for better student attainment. Findings from this qualitative investigation focusing on the use of one MESH guide on the teaching and learning of spelling – in 120 Primary Schools in the South West of England, UK for curriculum development – suggest that teachers value evidence-based resources for curriculum planning and delivery. Furthermore, when resources such as MESH guides are used they do help in planning curricula and lessons and have an impact on both pedagogy, by improving opportunities for learning, and on practice, by reducing planning time. Translational research for knowledge mobilisation in education is shown to give confidence to the teacher through resources that are perceived to be ‘tried and tested’, and can therefore be ‘trusted’ to improve learning.
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